I want to encourage you to read a very important post by my friend, Marty Duren, about the “Westoboro Cult.” As an open letter to the mass media, Marty calls for the end of using “Baptist Church” when referring to this fringe group claiming to be Christian, arguing that in the same way that journalists who write with integrity do not want to be lumped in with those who don’t, Christians shouldn’t be categorized with those so clearly outside the bounds of orthodox Christianity:
The journalistic profession has turned out a small number of plagiarists whose words were stolen from the creativity and hard work of others then passed off as their own. Yet, though some among your number bring a pall on the word “journalist,” I do not refer to each of you as “cheats,” “word thieves” or “plagiarists.” It would be inaccurate to label you thusly because of a few whose actions obviously do not represent the whole. But in the mass media we see, with alarming near-universality, a refusal to call the wackos from Westboro anything except a “Baptist church” or a “church.”
Marty goes on to argue why, exactly, Westboro should rightly be labeled a cult. Though I doubt the mainstream media, in general, could care less about how we feel about the issue, I think Marty is right on the mark. Certainly, those of us within the Christian community should heed this call to cease from referring to this group as “Westboro Baptist Church.” Our identity is in Christ and Christ is in no way identified within the practices or beliefs of this cult.
I highly encourage you to read the entire open letter here.